Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Long Ithaca Routes

Fire Tower Road

Comfort Road
 Here is a list of nice routes over 70 miles in the Ithaca area. They are all on paved roads unless otherwise noted.

  • Southeast to Greenwood County Park: 70 miles and 6400 ft. of climbing. Lovely country roads throughout with highlights on Howard Hill Road and Glen Road. Save some energy for the grind up Old 76. Stop for water at Greenwood park (and ice cream if you need same cold calories).

Old 76

  •  West to Whitney Point: 80 miles with 6200 ft. of climbing. Head up Old 76 and Glen road this time, continuing on a variety of exposed country roads to Whitney Point. Heading north past Whitney Point Reservoir on Route 26, a couple left turns take you up a steep dirt ramp on Gay Head Road. Fear not! The dirt ends as the road levels out and smooth asphalt leads the way home. Enjoy the climb up Owego Hill and the riverside ride on Lower Creek.

Old 76

  • Owego Lake Loop: 85 miles and 4700 ft. of climbing. Highlights are the challenging climb out of Moravia on Long Hill Road and the subsequent lakeside riding. The ride down Salmon Creek Road is also a beautiful, quiet country road. Great loop for some fast rolling.

Yaple Road

Unknown Field

White Church Road

  • Cayuga Lake Lap: 90 flatter miles with 4200 ft. of climbing. Uses the obvious, main roads but gets some fantastic lakeside roads. Stop at Cayuga Lake State Park for water and some lakeside pictures. This route is pretty flat but save some energy for the exposed, hillier section near the end where water runs low and sweat rolls from the brow.
  • Southwest Gil Route: borrowed from Gil Menda, a 78 mile with almost 7k ft. of climbing. South Danby Road, Wyncoop Creek and Hogback Road make a lovely route out. Shaffer road makes for a nice gradual descent back into Ithaca. Add Blakeslee if you have some extra energy at the end! 
Chestnut Road 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Steep Ithacan Hills

There are a number of beautiful, precipitous country climbs in the Ithaca area. Some of the steepest are described below. Incorporating these hills into a ride will be sure to raise your heart rate and drop your average speed.

  1. Starting right in downtown Ithaca, two climbs ascend towards higher knowledge on the hill to Cornell. Kline road and Cascadilla Park Road offer some quick access climbing. Kline starts out steep and stays that way for a quarter mile at 16%. Rough pavement and a narrow road mean caution is in order. Cascadilla offers a more tame half mile at 8%. The road's three switchbacks and dense housing confer a European charm. Try and best Dan Timmerman's time if you're feeling strong.
  2. Moving to the opposite side of town, Bostwick and Culver Roads take you on a longer climb up the western hill. Both hills average 8.5% on roads that end in country greenery. 1.7 and 1.4 miles respectively, these are challenging climbs with gradients that waver slightly throughout. Great climbs through which to leave the Ithaca area.
  3. A few miles to the south we find 5.6 miles of Shaffer Road at 4.3%. One of the few Cat 2 climbs in Ithaca, after climbing a steep opening ramp the climb gradually rolls upwards with a couple sharp inclines. This is a quiet road with nice views down into the valley on the left. 
  4. Autumn Ridge Lane is the steepest short climb in the Ithaca area. Beginning at a pedestrian 8% or so, soon it kicks up to a grade barely passable with actually walking. The top ramps up to around 20% for very painful quarter mile of road. Out-and-back, this road receives very little traffic - by car or bike.
  5. Just down Coddington Road comes another challenging climb - East Miller. Fairly straightforwards, just a steep, pretty steady mile long climb at 10%. Great for breaking speed records on the way down but careful of the steep end at a stop sign.
Some more hills:
  1. Blakeslee Hill Road - 1.5 miles of 10%
  2. Protts Hill - Half mile of 12%
  3. Sovocool Hill Road - mile of 10%
  4. Legge Hill - another mile of 10%

One that didn't make the final cut - Blackman Hill Rd
Protts Hill

Autumn Ridge Lane

Autumn Ridge

Legge Hill
Blakeslee Hill Road